yellow spidery witch-hazel flowers set against a backdrop of trees and snow covered rocks


While some consider the New York winter landscape barren, NYBG’s diverse collection of witch-hazels (Hamamelis spp.) provides visitors with unexpected color in early and late winter. Witch-hazels are large shrubs with smooth gray bark, elegant spreading branches, and sweetly fragrant flowers in a wide variety of colors from sunshine yellow to fiery copper and fuchsia. Some, like our native Hamamelis virginiana, flower in early winter while others, including Ozark witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), Japanese witch-hazel (Hamamelis japonica), Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis), and a hybrid of those two Asian species (Hamamelis × intermedia) are at their peak from January through early March. NYBG’s witch-hazels are concentrated in the Chilton Azalea Garden, the Home Gardening Center, the Native Plant Garden, and the Burke Oak Collection.